30.12.2006 - 30.12.2006
My room here in Chungking Mansions is more of a cupboard. It is a very small box room that barely fits my single bed in. There is no storage space other than under my bed, nor any where to keep my valuables. Off from the room is some bi-fold doors leading to the toilet and sink, with a shower unit above the toilet. Basically, its a shower cubical with a toilet in it so the whole room gets soaked when taking a shower. Great bit of space saving, Ikea eat your heart out. I have a TV, which is restricted to 4 indian channels above my bed and a side table with my "free local-calls telephone" and a bottle of water that Mr Singh provided, though when I went to take a drink, the cap wasn't sealed so I don't think I'll be having that.
My room is also home to some flee looking creatures that crawl around my bedside cabinet and tiled walls. I'm yet to find any on my bed though there is plenty of time for that. All in all, not to bad for a place to rest my head. I've stayed in worse places, though have also stayed in some better ones too......
On leaving Chungking Mansions, you are greeted by a busy road running left to right and the noise of screaming chinese adverts above your head from the large LCD screen. The street opposite, running away from the Mansions, is littered with over hanging signs which light up the night. Duty free shops and resturants line the streets with the annoying touts still begging for your business. "NO THANKS". You sometimes find, when you go to look in a shop, it isn't actually a shop, it's an alley way between two buildings. You enter looking at the goods and before you know it, you have walked back 50 yards and in a network of dark alleys that are littered with rubbish, hanging stairwells leading to the back entrances of the tower blocks above and soaked in puddles that never seem to dry up.
At night, I've walked down to the harbour that over looks the Hong Kong skyline on the island opposite. What a sight. Like the Manhattan Skyline, Ayres Rock and the Lights of Las Vegas, this is certainly up there with the best of them. Even at day it's impressive, as I took a tram ride up the mountain which is on Hong Kong Island. The tram takes up the mountain where your almost lying back in your seat as it's that steep. On the way back down, you travel backwards cause if you didn't, you'd fall out through the front window. At the top there is a 5 storey viewing tower. From the roof balcony, again you see across the whole of the city, seeing Hong Kong in all its glory.
It seems to be a pretty safe place when dark as there is that many people out and about wondering the streets. I found myself walking in circles for hours, under the lit up streets as I enjoyed the experience, taking in my surrounds and looking on at the people, in turn who would be looking back with equal fascination. This is it, I'm here, living the far east experience, or so I thought... After discovering an Irish Bar, Murphys, I got chatting to some British guy who lives and works in China and only comes back to Hong Kong to get a bit of Western civilisation.
Westernised?????? Eh?? What do you mean, Westernised... and here is me, thinking I was living it large in the Far East, as I struggle to communicate with the touts and finger point at menus when ordering food. I thought it was wierd when most people were able to understand me, and that HMV, Pizza Hut and Starbucks Coffee shops line the streets. Boy, am I in for a shock. Never the less, Hong Kong has been a great experience and 2 days early I'm moving out, so ROLL ON CHINA !!!!!!!!!!